Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Orange smokey skies for Bay Area baseball; Fans fear Covid spread NFL ticket sales down; plus more

View of Oakland Coliseum during Houston Astros and Oakland A’s Wednesday night during batting practice as a smokey orange sky from the California fires hangs over the park (photo from @MLByahoosports)

Headline Sports podcast with Tony R

#1 Washington, Oregon and California fires have made California the worst air quality in the nation. With California’s huge sports teams college and pro and with a the nation’s largest pandemic combined how long will it be safe to continue sports in California?

#2 Both Bay Area teams played Wednesday under orange smokey skies the Houston Astros and Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum in the fourth of their five game series and the Seattle Mariners at San Francisco Giants for a Wednesday night game.

#3 The Super Bowl Champion Kansas Chiefs have said that their ticket sales for their opener have been down due to fears of the pandemic and too many fans gathering in one place will tickets sales also be down in other NFL cities?

#4 This is opening week for the San Francisco 49ers who are hosting the Arizona Cardinals at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara. During camp 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garopplo and the offense were missing some plays and a number of ball were intercepted in practice. That said how do you see the 49ers heading into this first game with Arizona?

#5 The Las Vegas Raiders are in Carolina to face the Panthers in the Raiders very first game representing Las Vegas. The Panthers have only two injuries guard Dennis Daley will be out of Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and Eli Apple with a hamstring.

#6 Also Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota is out with pectoral strain, Raider head coach Jon Gruden said that Mariota was not damaged goods when the Raiders signed him.

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports every other Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

The losing streak is over as the A’s beat the M’s 3-2 in extra innings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

With one out in the top of the 10th inning and Tony Kemp at second base as the new extra-innings rules require, pinch hitter Robbie Grossman stepped into the batters’ box to face Seattle reliever, Dan Altavilla.

Grossman hit a 2-1 slider into right-center field that drove Kemp home to score the go-ahead run for the Athletics. Grossman motored all the way to third base when center fielder Kyle Lewis threw up his hands that the ball was stuck under the wall. After an umpire review of the ground rules, Grossman was sent back to second base and his hit was scored as an RBI-double.

The bottom of the 10th would be a test

The A’s sent Liam Hendricks to the mound to close out the game and get the win for Oakland. The Mariners Shed Long started the inning at second base. Hendricks set the side down in order to finish the game by striking out J.P. Crawford.

Hendricks picked up his second save of the season and has an ERA of 2.70.

Oakland pitching was strong

Mike Fiers (0-0, 5.40) made his second start of the season. Fiers worked 6.0 innings giving up two runs (both earned) off four hits. He struck out three and walked just one batter. Fiers threw 79 pitches (48 strikes). It was exactly the kind of starting effort the A’s needed.

The Oakland relievers were outstanding on Saturday night. Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit both worked a perfect inning of relief each.

Joakim Soria worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning and wound up picking up his first win of the season.

The A’s found some hits in their bats

The key hit was Grossman’s pinch-hit RBI double that drove home the winning run for the A’s. The Mariners defense had to play Grossman straight away because of his power which gave him some open alleys to place the ball. It was Grossman’s second double of the season. He is now 7-for-20 at the plate.

Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-4 in the game and raised his batting average to .190. The A’s really need Piscotty to get going as he usually provides some much-needed punch for the Oakland offense.

Mark Canha hit a double in the contest and raised his average to .273. The A’s need Canha’s clutch hitting to put them back into the playoff race.

Tied for first place

The victory on Saturday night raised the A’s record to 4-4. That puts them into a tie for first place in AL West with the Houston Astros. The 60-game streak is certainly going to interesting.

Up next

The A’s and Mariners play game three of this four-game wrap-around series on Sunday afternoon.

The A’s will send RHP Chris Bassitt to the hill to start the game. This will be his second start of the season. Bassitt earned a no-decision in his first start of the year.

The Mariners will counter with RHP Kendall Graveman who is 0-1 so far this season. Graveman lasted just four innings in his last start and currently has a 13.50 ERA.

 

No power, no pitching, no win for the A’s in Seattle

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics (3-4) suffered their third consecutive loss on Friday night in Seattle as the Mariners won the opening game of the four-game wrap-around series 5-3. For the Mariners (4-4), it was their third consecutive victory.

Manaea was no mystery

Sean Manaea (0-2, 7.00) made his second start of the accelerated season and the results were less than spectacular. Manaea lasted just 4.1 innings allowing five runs (3 earned) on six hits while striking out four hitters.

Manaea’s ERA currently sits at 7.00 which is the kind of number that gets you sent to Triple-A or released in the normal baseball universe. In 2020, you might expect that two poor starting performances could mean a trip to San Jose to workout with the “taxi squad”, but that is not going to happen. With A.J. Puk on the Injured List, no front line starter is going to be sent anywhere.

Manaea is known as being a tenacious worker who will do everything he can do to get his “mojo” back on the mound. The fear in a situation like this is that it could be something physically wrong and not just something wrong with his pitching motion. The A’s have not given any indication that they think Manaea has any type of potential injury problem.

The bottom line is the A’s need Manaea to find a way to win games and win them right now. Each loss in this shortened season equals 2.7 losses. That means his two losses are the equivalent of 5.4 losses in a 162-game season. That many consecutive losses would cause major panic in the front office of any major league club.

The A’s need Manaea to find a way to get a win in his next start if they are to stay competitive for a playoff spot.

Three hits will not get it done

The A’s managed to collect only three hits in the game on Friday night in Seattle. Marcus Semien hit his first triple of the season in the top the eighth inning that drove in two runs for Oakland. Semien now has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .280 in those games.

Ramon Laureano hit his second double of the year in the game and Stephen Piscotty hit a single that eventually allowed him to score on Semien’s triple.

Laureano did hit a Sacrifice Fly that produced the A’s third and final run of the contest.

Oakland left four men on base. They went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and they left two runners in scoring position with two out.

For a team that is supposed to be known for its power, the A’s are experiencing a real power drought.

Walker was the Mariners star of the game

Taijuan Walker (1-1, 4.35) made his second start of the season for Seattle on Friday night and he was spectacular. Walker worked seven scoreless innings allowing only one hit and two walks while striking out eight Oakland hitters. He struck out the side in the fifth inning.

Taylor Walker picked up his second save of the young season in the game.

Seattle had a good night at the plate

J.P. Crawford went 2-for-4 and two runs on Friday night. He now has a five-game hitting streak with multiple hits in his last three games.

Kyle Lewis extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 2-for-4 and scoring a run in the win over the A’s.

Kyle Seager hit his fourth double of the season in the fourth inning which drove in two runs. It was his fifth extra-base hit of the season.

Up next

The first pitch for game two of the series is scheduled for 6:10 PM on Saturday night. The A’s will send RHP Mike Fiers (0-0, 9.00) to the mound to face off against the Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 13.50).

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: For 2020 Predictions Los Atleticos My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season

file photo from sfchronicle.com: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien fields a grounder by San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, who was out at first during a baseball game in San Francisco. Semien will look to build momentum from a career season that included being top three in the AL MVP voting. He was rewarded with a new $13 million, one-year contract to avoid arbitration, a raise of $7.1 million

2020 Predictions: Los Atléticos

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season.

(American League West)

1-Oakland Athletics 2-Houston Astros 3-Los Angeles Angels 4-Texas Rangers 5-Seattle Mariners

Oakland A’s  (Offense) This is the year everything will come together for the Athletics. For the second year in a row finished with an excellent 97-65 record and behind the Houston Astros. They will catch and pass the scandal-riddled Houston Astros.

A’s are a powerful offensive force with numbers that do the talking. Among all 30 teams,the A’s finished fifth in home runs with 257,number eight in runs scored 845 and number ninth in runs driven-in with 800.

The team of the greatest base stealer ever, and in my opinion the best all-around player in the history of the Oakland A’s,Rickey Henderson who stole 1,406 bases during a stellar Hall of Fame career,only stole 49 bases last season,which put them close to the bottom,only three teams in baseball stole less bases.

But nobody is perfect,that is not their game, only the Giants, Twins and Cubs stole less bases than the A’s. Unfortunately (if you are old school) at this time in history where 30 homers for a player is “normal” and many say boring,the stolen base is like the bunt,”Breaking News”when it happens.

(Pitching) Bob Melvin A’s had the sixth best earned run average for a pitching staff in baseball with 3.97. Only Astros, Dodgers, Rays, Indians and Cardinals showed a better ERA. Their 2020 staff is one of the youngest and most talented in the game. Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, Frankie Montás, A,J Puk, Mike Fiers starting and leading the way.

(Bullpen) Liam Hendriks (25 saves and 1.80 ERA),who took over Blake Treinen as closer was robbed of the Reliever of the Year Award by New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman,but was one of the reasons the A’s got to the AL Wild Card game.

The only reason Hendriks did not win the award is because he pitches for the A’s and Chapman for the Yankees. The market was the deciding factor. However,the Astros had the top bullpen in the AL West and third best in baseball last year with ERA (3.75) and batting average against (.226). Roberto Osuna led the Astros with 38 saves,second in baseball only to San Diego’s Kirby Yates with 41.

(Defense) Los Atléticos finished tied with the Atlanta Braves as the fourth best defensive team in baseball,with a .987 fielding percentage. and committed total of 80 errors,only Cardinals,Royals, Houston and Braves committed less. It all starts with the Golden Corners; Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, both Gold Glove winners,plus a mostly improved Marcus Semien at shortstop,and very a talented outfield with Ramón Laureano in center field. Ramón’s arm is one of the best – nobody runs on him.

2020 A’s are very similar to 2019.The second base position still wide open, they acquired veteran Tony Kemp but also have A’s minor league star Jorge Mateo as well as Franklin Barreto who already have some major league experience with the club, as well as Sheldon Neuse and then there is Rule 5 pick Vimael Machín.They are all candidates at the second-base position that Jurickson Profar left vacant after he signed with the San Diego Padres.

Conclusion: It will be a battle for the division between the A’s and the Astros. Now under Dusty Baker,the Houston team still one of the best group of players in baseball,it should not be easy for the A’s, but they are ready for battle. It is of great importance that the A’s win the division,because they are starting to get the label that they cannot win a Wild Card game.

The LA Angels with the addition of one of the finest hitters and all around players in third-baseman Anthony Rendon, who will now be in a lineup with MikeTrout, Justin Upton,Shohei Othani and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hitting sixth or seventh,they will score tons of runs, but they are still short of pitching.Good luck to a great baseball guy,Joe Maddon, now back in Anaheim as manager.

Texas will be Texas,Joey Gallo might hit 50 home runs,so what? and the Seattle Mariners will continue to look up to the others in the division. Seattle a great city that once had stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. Edgar Martínez, Randy Johnson, Ichiro Susuki, Féliz Hernández, Jaime Moyer, Raúl Ibañez and others, but for this season they will be a sad again. Mariners remain the only team in the division never to win the pennant.

Atléticos First Homestand features two Divisional champions. A’s Open 2020 this Thursday March 26th at 1:07PM with the first of a four games against the Central Division champion Minnesota Twins followed by the Western Division champion Houston Astros for a three game series starting Monday. The Twins loaded with power set a new MLB record last season with 307 home runs and the Astros lead the regular season with 107 wins.

Coronavirus Note: WHO(World Health Organization)tips about this virus. 1-Wash hands frequently 2-Maintain social distances 3-Avoid touching,eyes, nose and mouth 4-If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio broadcasts and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Sox sign Grandal four years $73 M; Betts is close to being a Dodger; plus more

photo from latimes.com: The Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts is on the bargaining table to be dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 Amaury how important is Yasmani Grandal’s role at catcher going to be for the Chicago White Sox he’s on a four year $73 million contract with the Sox.

#2 How serious is are the Dodgers in acquiring the Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts and talk about how he would impact the team.

#3 The Seattle Mariners signed Marco Gonzalez, Gonzalez will be under contract with the Mariners for under $1 million for 2020-2024 but his contract is reportedly worth $30-45 million for four years.

#4 You had a chance to sit with Frankie Montas pitcher of the Oakland A’s during Fan Fest how far has Montas put his PED suspension in the review mirror.

#5 Former San Francisco Giant Gerardo Parra is a new Giant but this time in Tokyo Parra said he’s excited about playing in Japan

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

A’s Don’t Help Themselves, Wild Card Race Tied After M’s 4-3 Walk-off Win

Photo credit: @Mariners

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland A’s clinched a postseason berth Friday night, but it was hardly cause for celebration. By virtue of the Cleveland Indians losing earlier in the night, the A’s knew they’d be locked into a spot in the Wild Card game. The only question is where will that game be played?

The picture didn’t get clearer Friday. The A’s needed a win in Seattle to stay a game ahead of Tampa Bay for home field advantage in the do-or-die game, with the Rays winning earlier in the night. All signs were pointing up when Matt Olson hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. But closer Liam Hendriks couldn’t hold on to the lead and the Mariners rallied to walk the A’s off 4-3 on a J.P. Crawford double. Now both Oakland and Tampa sit at 96 wins apiece.

Hendriks got a quick out before Mallex Smith singled. The A’s closer bounced back with a punchout of Dylan Moore, but Smith advanced to second and third base on wild pitches and scored easily on a Shed Long single to tie the game. Crawford then took a 3-2 pitch to left field on a line for the walk-off winner.

The A’s were trailing 2-1 heading into the top of the seventh after Seattle scored runs in the top of the first and third innings off Mike Fiers. Marcus Semien’s 33rd homer of the season in the leadoff spot was the lone as run off Justus Sheffield to that point. Matt Chapman singled off reliever Zac Grotz with one out in the seventh, then Taylor Guilbeau was called in to face Olson. Olson hammered a 3-2 count over the wall in left field to give the A’s the 3-2 lead. AJ Puk, Jake Diekman and Joakim Soria all pitched scoreless innings in relief of Fiers, who pitched five strong, but will most likely watch the Wild Card game from the dugout, thanks to the reemergence of Sean Manaea.

The Rays have yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays, but Trent Thornton and his 5.00 ERA will await the Tampa hitters who will step up to the plate eagerly. For Oakland Brett Anderson takes the hill against Marco Gonzalez, who despite a 4.09 ERA has 16 wins to his credit.

A’s near a playoff berth after defeating the Mariners 3-1

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s downed the Seattle Mariners 3-1 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Park. Their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is down to one. Any combination of an A’s win or Cleveland loss will give the A’s a Wild Card berth. The Indians lost again to the Chicago White Sox and are now three games behind the A’s. The Tampa Bay Rays did not play. The A’s lead them by one game in the race for the first Wild Card. If the A’s hold on and win the first Wild Card, the one-game elimination will be played in Oakland next Wednesday.

It was a very emotional night in Seattle for their fans and for Felix Hernandez. Hernandez, who had been the ace of the Mariners’ staff for many years, was probably making his last appearance as a Mariner. His record coming into the game was 1-7. His effectiveness and velocity had been affected by shoulder injuries. Hernandez, in the past, had owned the A’s. The Green and Gold feared facing him. However, times changed, and he was just another pitcher. Hernandez had other thoughts on Thursday night as he wanted to go out as a winner.

Fernandez pitched very well for Seattle. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs. When he left in the top of the sixth, the Mariners fans gave him a standing ovation that lasted well over a minute and Fernandez, with tears in his eyes, made a final curtain call.

The offensive player of the game for Oakland was Matt Chapman. With one out in the first inning, Chapman walked. A’s first baseman Matt Olson singled to right. Chapman went to third on the play, and when he saw the throw from the right fielder was slow coming into the infield, Chappie took off and rounded third and score. The A’s had an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Marcus Semien worked Hernandez for a walk. The next hitter, Matt Chapman, as he did Wednesday night in Los Angeles, blasted his 36th home run of the year to make it 3-0.

The A’s Sean Manaea, making his fifth start of the year, was very effective. He gave up a run to the M’s in the bottom of the fifth. A’s manager Bob Melvin let Manaea go one more inning. Sean went six innings and allowed four hits and one run. Lefty Jesus Luzardo pitched the seventh and eighth and retired all six hitters he faced. Liam Hendriks retired the Mariners in order in the ninth to secure the win for Oakland and earn his 25th save of the year. The A’s won 3-1.

Game Notes: The A’s improved to 96-63 with three games left on the schedule. The Tampa Bay Rays have three games left with the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. The Indians will finish the season in Washington with three games against the Nationals.

The A’s won 97 games last year, and if they sweep the Mariners, they will finish with 99 wins.

The Houston Astros appear to have the best record in the American League. They will play the winner of the AL Wild Card game. The Minnesota Twins will face the New York Yankees in the other ALDS. The Twins have become the first time in MLB history to hit more than 300  homers in a season. They have hit 301 so far this year. The Yankees need one more to be the second team. They have hit 299.

Up Next: The A’s will send Mike Fiers to the hill Friday night. Fiers is 15-4 for the year, and his ERA is 3.91. Lefty Justus Sheffield will go for Seattle. Game time will be at 7:05 pm PT.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Chapman saves the A’s bacon with 2-run bomb; A’s stay 1/2 game up in wild card

Photo credit: halosheaven.com

On the A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The A’s dropped two crucial games — one against Texas last Sunday at the Coliseum and another on Tuesday night in Anaheim. The A’s in never give up style, down 2-1 on Wednesday night in the top of the ninth, got a two-run jack from Matt Chapman his 34th to get the A’s a 3-2 one-run win.

#2 You look at that score last night in Anaheim 2-1 going to the ninth, manager Bob Melvin just had to have that bad feel in his stomach that the club was going to go down three in a row, but these never give up A’s have a hero every night when they win a game.

#3 Talk about A’s starter Frankie Montas’ return back in the rotation. He misses 60 games and he comes back pitches six innings and gives up four hits and an earned run, two walks and six strikeouts.

#4 Jerry talk about the relievers the A’s used four relief pitchers and they held it together to beat the Angels in the Big A. Everybody is up to beat the A’s in the wild card drive and the A’s are doing everything to stay at the top.

#5 A’s are headed for Seattle to open up a four-game series with the Mariners on Thursday, who can be tough customers in their own right. The Mariners, who got two hits and shutout 3-0 on Wednesday night by the Houston Astros, are not too happy and are looking to take things out on the A’s, but the A’s will scratch and claw to try to keep their heads above water in the AL wild card race.

Jerry does the A’s podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Thursday

MLB The Show podcast with Daniel Dullum: A’s can sweep Twins today in Minneapolis; Will Giants take a dive if they part with Bum and Smith?

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha, left, and Marcus Semien celebrate Canha’s two-run home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher Zack Littell in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Athletics won 5-4.

And here they are, from the home office in Gardner, ND Daniel Dullum’s MLB The Show podcast for Sunday:

MLB

1 A’s-Twins in key AL series

2 Should Giants be sellers at the deadline?

3 Mariners’ Mike Leake nearly throws perfecto; Angels DFA former All-Star pitcher Matt Harvey

4 RIP Pumpsie Green, Don Mossi, Jim Bouton

Catch Daniel each Sunday for the MLB podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB podcast with Matt Harrington: After a rough week, Seattle routs Angels and nearly get a perfect game; plus more

photo from bleacherreport.com: Seattle Mariners pitcher Mike Leake nearly throws a perfect game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday at T-Mobile Park in Seattle in a 10-0 laugher.

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 Coming off a two-game series sweep to the Oakland A’s on Tuesday and Wednesday the Seattle Mariners on Friday night almost got a perfect game against the Los Angeles Angels when Mariners starter Mike Leake went into the ninth inning needing three outs to accomplish the feat but surrendered a base hit to the Angels  Luis Rengifo at T-Mobile Park in the ninth inning in Seattle. The fans stood up and honored Leake with a nice ovation. The M’s went on to beat the Halos 10-0.

#2 The San Francisco Giants once again got another walkoff win against the visiting New York Mets. The Giants on Thursday night went 16 innings to beat the Mets 3-2, and then on Friday, got a 1-0 win in the bottom of the tenth at Oracle Park in San Francisco when Dominic Smith, a Mets centerfielder, dropped a fly ball hit by Pablo Sandoval that allowed Alex Dickerson to score from first base for the game-winning run and the Giants wound up with their seventh consecutive win and are now a .500 team for the first time all season.

#3 The New York Yankees’ Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam helped beat the Colorado Rockies 8-2 in over 100 degree heat and Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer for New York. The Yankees now improve the lead over second place Tampa Bay by nine games.

#4 New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Friday enough was enough in the first game of the doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays when three Yankees hitters Gary Sanchez, DJ Le Mahieu and Brett Gardner were called out for strikes by plate umpire Brennan Miller. Boone got into the face of Miller and said a few choice words and was run by Miller. Boone was immediately suspended by MLB for what they said making contact with the umpire. Boone said he regretted using the choice words and said that Miller had a hard job to do and and that he showed more class than him. Boone sat out the night cap of the doubleheader.

#5 He threw a masterpiece, but like all pitchers who showcase all good things with a current team, all good things must come to an end and it is most likely that Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman will be dealt somewhere before the trade deadline July 31st. Stroman going six innings, seven hits, and five strikeouts in the Blue Jays 12-1 Friday blowout of the Detroit Tigers.

Matt does the MLB podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com